With the Evening News showcasing the best talent our city has to offer with the
Edinburgh’s Got Talent competition, we take a look back at the most memorable Scottish reality TV show contestants…
Who could forget Simon Cowell’s jaw dropping in complete shock as Susan Boyle took to the stage at Glasgow’s SECC to audition for 2009’s Britain’s Got Talent? The smirk was soon wiped off his face as she delivered a flawless performance of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables which resulted in a standing ovation from both the audience and all three judges. She has since gone on to release two top-selling albums – one of which remains the best-selling UK album of all time. Not bad for a 47 year-old from Blackburn who almost missed the audition thanks to getting on the wrong bus!
Back in 2001, Darius stunned the nation for all the wrong reasons when he performed a ‘unique’ rendition of Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time on the first series on Pop Idol. Despite going through a stage of infamy, Darius has since gone on to become a West End star and, in 2010, won ITV1’s Popstar To Opera Star.
19 year-old Leon Jackson from Whitburn deferred a place at our very own Edinburgh Napier University when he was chosen by Danni Minogue to appear on the fourth series of X Factor. He went on the win the show after a show-stopping duet performance with Kylie Minogue and had a number-one hit with his debut single When You Believe. His mainstream success was short-lived and he was dropped from Sony in 2009. He is currently working on a new acoustic album which he hopes to release independently next year.
Brothers Brian and Craig MacDonald competed in the third series of X Factor where they were finalists but lost out to Leona Lewis who eventually won the series. Following the show, they were chosen to support Westlife on tour and achieved limited commercial success in the UK. They are currently recording in their fifth album in Nashville which will be released in Asia early next year.
David Sneddon from Paisley won the first series of Fame Academy in 2002. His first single Stop Living The Lie held the number one spot in the charts for two weeks and remained in the Top 40 for a total of nine weeks. Despite his success, Sneddon decided to quit ‘fame’ in 2003 to focus on writing songs for other artists. He justified his decision by saying he entered the competition as a songwriter and musician and did not enjoy the fame that came with it. He has since written songs for a number of artists including Matt Cardle and the band Hurts.
Photos from Artists own websites.
Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding has checked herself into rehab for depression and alcohol addiction.
Sarah Harding is now seeking help in a rehab clinic outside of the UK, following her split from fiance Tom Crane last month.
After dating for four years, the couple were set to marry next Summer, but have now decided to separate after a number of arguments.
Sarah has been described by a friend as hitting ‘rock bottom’ and thinks that this break will give her time to clear her head before Girls Aloud are set to reunite next year celebrating the groups 10 year anniversary.
…the crushingly boring repetition of a song that once meant something to someone…
Being in a flat with a communal living room has advantages and disadvantages for your music taste. Advantages include a broadened spectrum for your musical appetite and the chance to force your own ‘brilliant’ music tastes down other people’s unsuspecting throats (well, my musical tastes are brilliant, for everyone else I will continue to use derogatory and frankly condescending quotation marks).
However, there are several disadvantages to this shared living space. Among the examples of melodic distress I suffer daily is the nightmare of feigning interest in an artist I happen to despise, which is about 99.9% of popular artists today; you will likely be forced to listen to music you consider beneath you, or too simple, which in the case of the UK Top 40, is probably true; and most devastating of all, you will be forced to encounter the harrowing but schmaltzy ordeal that is the X Factor on ITV.
I think I understand it now. Glowing eyed young does wander innocently across the road of fame. Some are instantly splayed across the bonnet of a passing car, landing in a crumpled heap of bones and disappointment. Some are more wily, they have a half decent voice, or a half decent body, and they make it across the road a little bit further before being ensnared in the headlights and forced beneath the wheels into demi-celebrity, daytime talk show oblivion. But nobody ever really makes it across the road, and they never quite meet the echelons of the real musician’s status.
The real problem with this is that we don’t like to think that the musical joie de vivre comes from consumer surveys and a team of PR agents so good they could talk you out of believing in gravity. It’s a nice thought that musicians still bring their own personality to their performance, but with the X Factor the performances are soulless. Every last one of them. No matter how often they play Coldplay over the top and all the judges weep ‘tears of joy’, I have never seen a performance where I saw anything other than the crushingly boring repetition of a song that once meant something to someone. And therein lies the problem, it’s not the singers personality we’re seeing, its a compound of all the audience feedback and marketing nonsense that the judges and creators have been told to smear all over their new-found blank canvasses.
I’m leaving aside the whole building-up of people to an inevitable let down thing, like cooing over how nice it is giving a plane ride to a load of orphaned kittens, then turning your head when the pilot proceeds to open the door and eject every kitten, one by one, out into the wild blue yonder of thirty thousand feet up.
So I’ve come up with an elegant solution to everyone’s problems. The X Factor needs to start taking some responsibility. For the output of consistently faceless automatons I won’t complain, its more for those left helpless and bloodied in the dusty wake of the Simon Cowell et al. dream-smashing-mobile. I think that if the X Factor was forced to follow round the contestants ejected after numerous stages, just to film them for a week in a special ‘return to heart breaking normalcy’ episode, then people might feel a little bit worse about letting these people believe this show will change their lives. We could watch as they weep into their sink full of dishes, gawp at their pathetic crying every time they hear the song that sent them tumbling out of the competition and back into obscurity, and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t be forced to leave the living room at seven every Saturday night.
Jamie Mann and Ben Graham
Don’t let the mysterious heat wave of late September fool you; word is spreading of snow this October; that’s right: treacherous blizzards, frictionless icy pavements and general unhappy freezingness. Fear not though, as October is a busy month for gigs and if you have ever complained about the lack of heat in one of Edinburgh’s pokey venues, then you have a problem.
Here are a few alternative acts, which are worth braving the elements for this week:
Pining for an alternative to the alternative this evening? Feed your soul with the fine quinine of funk, jazz, folk and of course soul at Oxjam’s ‘Soul Food’ event at Bongo Club; all proceeds go to Oxfam; a splendid spread guaranteed.
On Wednesday we’ll be thawing ourselves out in Bannerman’s with the bass-heavy sludge of Oregon’s Yob and the sinister riffs of Dark Castle and Kongh. You can can get a taste of just what goes into Dark Castle gig by watching this video.
Come Friday those of us seeking a more gradual start to the weekend might be found relaxing in Cabaret Voltaire with Bill Wells and Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat for a Scottish jazzy spoken-word soundtrack. We will understand if you’re washing your hair that night though.
If 70’s progressive rock is your thing then maybe you’ll find yourself watching Caravan at the HMV Picture House on Saturday or even catching-up with the team from Hawklord at Queen’s Hall the following night, as they launch vessels of hard space rock after more than 25 year’s absence.
Should you prefer modern genres, also on Saturday, you may ride the chill wave and bask in the ambience of Londoner, Tropics, for a late live show at Sneaky Pete’s. If you like your music more danceable then head to the Liquid Rooms for some electro house from the fresh-faced Hardwell instead.
The only post-rock chart busters ever, Sigur Rós, are broadcasting their black and white live concert INNI at The Queen’s Hall on the 24th. The Icelanders will be there in spirit but unfortunately not in person; nether the less the venue will surely be filled with gargantuan crescendos and luscious dream pop vocals.
Get comfortable at the Voodoo Rooms on the 27th and take in some blues and learn some doo-woo from Ohio’s Skip ‘Little Axe’ McDonald or drift away in more down-tempo electronica from The Boats, nestled in the depths of Banshee Labyrinth on the same night.
Now to later in the month. Could you be interested in the duel-bass-powered hardcore of Palehorse? Then be taken down with excessive rhythm at Bannerman’s on the 28th. Or keep it simple with Brighton’s British Sea Power, amplifying their melodic indie tunes at the Liquid Room on the 30th.
Finally, are you dressing up with pale make-up, dark eyeliner and smudged lipstick for Halloween? If so, maybe you are The Joker, Robert Smith, or just showing your support for The Cureheads who will be replicating timeless hits from The Cure on All Hallow’s Eve at the Voodoo Rooms.
‘Future Hits Live’ will make an appearance in Edinburgh on Friday 11th November at the Liquid Rooms.
The above are just the first artists revealed and more are set to be announced in the following weeks.
The event will be the radio’s second ‘Future Hits Live’ show, as this summer Leamington Spa was treated to a show with the likes of Wretch 32, Oh My! and Six D. Check out this video to see back stage interviews with this year’s acts.
Tickets are priced at just £13.50 and are available now by clicking here.
Friday 11th November
Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
14 + – Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Claire White, Entertainment Correspondent
Reaching the number one spot in the mid-week UK album charts, You Me At Six made their way to Glasgow on October 6th for an in-store performance and signing.
Walking up to HMV and seeing fans wrapped in duvets sitting outside the store on Buchanan Street, it was clear to see that this was a highly anticipated appearance for Surrey based quintet in Glasgow.
As the band embark on a UK tour this weekend, with the only Scottish date in Aberdeen, it seems fans were making the most of this opportunity to see and meet the band.
Dedicated fans had camped out overnight in the rain and as five pm approached the red-nosed and shivering fans were brought into the warmth of the store to see their idols.
The enthusiastic crowd packed into the second floor of the HMV store, screaming before the band had even appeared. As You Me At Six walked towards the stage, the deafening screams over-powered any other sound in the building, causing passers-by to stare in wonder at what could be so exciting about a dreary Thursday afternoon in Glasgow.
It’s safe to say that this was a crowd full of dedicated You Me At Six fans, as despite the album only being released 3 days prior to the event, it seemed every single person in the crowd was jumping and singing along to the new tracks word-for-word.
A sea of cameras filled the air every time front man Josh Franceschi took to the microphone. He called Glasgow his ‘favourite city in the whole world’ explaining that it is the only place where the crowd would jump up and down during songs in store.
The band played a mix of new songs from their new release Sinners Never Sleep including Loverboy, Jaws On The Floor and Little Death and also powered on through their set with old favourites such as Liquid Confidence, Stay With Me, before ending their set on crowd’s favourite Underdog.
Josh Franceschi’s vocals were exactly as on any recorded material from the band – strong and consistent, which he maintained throughout the entire set. The band played the in-store as if they were playing a much larger-scaled gig and it was easy to forget you were standing amongst a pile of CD’s and books, watching them perform.
From the performance alone, it was clear just how proud their fans were for the band’s chart achievements this week.
If the performance and the thought of meeting the band up close and personal after the performance wasn’t enough excitement for the fans, Josh Franceschi announced that the band will be returning to Glasgow during their March headline UK tour at the SECC.
Independent Scottish label, Olive Records have announced they will be releasing The Moth and the Mirror’s debut album, Honestly, this world, on October 10th. The band boasts a menagerie of musicians from various Scottish bands such as Arab Strap, Admiral Fallow, Frightened Rabbit and Reindeer Section and was even mixed by Tony Doogan who has also worked with Scots legends Mogwai and Belle and Sebastian.
The six-piece band has been ‘making music together and developing their own songs’ since 2001 when it was just Stacey Sievwright (The Reindeer Section) and Iain Sandilands. In 2006 more members got on board as they were hired as a backing band for Colin McLeod before he signed with Universal. It was only with the introduction of vocalist Louis Abbot (Admiral Fallow) they formed what is now The Moth and The Mirror.
It could be said that this is the ultimate Scottish band, with some of the most well respected talents this country has to offer and it is fair to say the tracks already available, Germany and Fire do not disappoint. Irrespective of each member’s musical background, the different influences come together to make for an explosive outcome that reaches across the genres.
In order to coincide with their album’s release they will be playing Glasgow’s Stereo on October 12th and Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire on October 16th. If everyone’s individual success on Scotland’s music scene is anything to go on, tickets will surely be in high demand! Limited editions of their single Germany have already sold out, so don’t miss your chance to see The Moth and The Mirror’s biggest gigs to date. Here’s the video for ‘Everyone I Know’ for those of you who don’t make the show.
Bring some Seville sunshine into your autumn evening this weekend.
The Queens Hall is hosting a Spanish gypsy troupe for a night of vibrant rhythms and passionate dancing.
The internationally acclaimed Paco Fernandez Ensemble join in the celebrations of the Hispanic Festival 2011 with a premier of Salud & Libertad – a contemporary flamenco performance.
Ranging from the underlying echoes of Indian and African rhythms to the purest Andalusian flamenco, Salud & Libertad is a metaphor for the Roma people’s ancient migration from India to Spain.
The Andalusian fusion of music and dancing traditionally involves singing, clapping and guitar playing. The acoustics will be led by Maestro Fernandez, who with his troupe celebrate flamenco’s recognition as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
“I’m delighted to come to Scotland. It is a land of great cultural heritage and famous kings. I particularly love Edinburgh’s stone walls blackened by history and smoke like the world of Flamenco. I want to communicate my passion for Scotland through my music. I know that the Edinburgh audience will recognize the nomadic ancestry of my gipsy roots in my playing.”
The performance will take place on Saturday, 8 October at 8pm. And those who feel flamenco running in their veins can develop their skills under the helpful eye of the artists. The Flamenco Workshops are held at Alba Flamenca on 9 October (to book workshops call 0131 667 7033).
For more information and tickets you can visit The Queens Hall website. And if you can’t make it, keep an eye on Radio Napier website for a review and an interview with the Maestro.
Brionny Leiper, Reporter
Fourteen-time Grammy award winner Alicia Keys is to compose music for an upcoming Broadway musical.
The singer-songwriter, who is well-known for playing piano in her performances, has signed up to write the songs for a musical version of Lydia R. Diamond’s play, Stick Fly.
Keys said: “This is a story that everybody can relate to. I’m passionate about this play because it is so beautifully written and portrays Black America in a way that we don’t often get to see in entertainment. I know it will touch audiences who will find a piece of themselves somewhere inside this house.”
The play revolves around the wealthy LeVay family who take a holiday to Martha’s Vineyard. The family’s two sons bring home their significant others – one a fiancée, the other a new girlfriend – for the first time. Soon all civilities are dropped, insecurities are quickly revealed and the family begins to fall apart.
Keys is following in the footsteps of U2’s Bono and The Edge who composed the score for the much-criticised Spiderman musical Turn Off The Dark. The production finally held its official opening in June this year after spending almost eight months showing as ‘previews.’ The show was plagued with technical difficulties from the start, receiving critical reviews from audiences and reviewers.
‘Stick Fly’ will be shown at the Cort Theatre on Broadway, with performances beginning on November 18th. The production will officially open on December 8th.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got anything in your diary for this week yet, because we’ve done all the hard work for you. Get ready for a bulging schedule.
Lori Cormack, Entertainment Correspondent
First up is a night that is sure to be buzzing. Hot off the trails of his second album release, Calvin Harris will be bringing in the crowds to Lava Ignite in the city’s Tollcross area next Monday night. The club is sure to be heaving, so get your tickets quick. It all kicks off at 10pm till the early hours and tickets are priced at £10.
Next up is your chance to fulfil a childhood dream and become your very own comic book character. The North Edinburgh Arts Centre is running a one off workshop – “A Day in the Life: Cartooning Workshop”. As part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts ad Film Festival, participants get the chance to create a cartoon strip featuring themselves, and some might even be chosen for an exhibit and/or included in a book. This one’s free, so make sure you book your place soon. On this Saturday from 11am-2pm.
This Friday, you have the chance to see some great bands along with doing your bit for charity. The Liquid Rooms are holding a “Charity Battle of the Bands” competition to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Save the Children. Confirmed bands include Echo Arcadia, Havana Rising and The M8s. Get there for 5.30pm, tickets are £6.
Be prepared to marvel at the Human Planet exhibition. Photographer Timothy Allen will be showing behind the scenes stills from his two year stint as photographer of the BBC’s Human Planet series. On for one night only at Edinburgh Uni’s Appleton Tower, it will cost you £8, but if you’re a student, you get in free. Get there this Thursday night at 7.30pm.
And lastly, why not show some support for some of our own at The Jazz Bar this Sunday night. A selection of vocalists from the Edinburgh Napier Music course will be taking to the stage, and they’re sure to shine. Get a comfy seat for the 8pm starting time, tickets are priced at £4, or £3 for concessions.
Claire White, Entertainment Correspondent
Gym Class Heroes are set to perform across the UK in an intimate 5-day tour. With tickets selling fast we caught up with guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo, ahead of the band’s upcoming Glasgow tour date this Monday, to find out more.
Gym Class Heroes are currently signed to American record label Fueled By Ramen, despite the difference in their sound to acts which fill the label’s roster. The band aim to blend the boundaries between hip-hop, rock and RnB describing their music as ‘eclectic love’ guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo explains ‘one of the best parts of being in Gym Class Heroes is the fact that we refuse to conform to any one particular sound, all 4 of us find inspiration in life as well as in every kind of music you can imagine.’
The band are also one of the very few in today’s music industry that have managed to survive. Forming in 1997 the band have been together for a total of 14 years to-date, keeping their music fresh as they approach each release never knowing exactly where the band will end up – both lyrically and sonically, keeping both the band and their fans eager for new material. When performing live Disashi explained that the band ‘genuinely love’ what they are doing and believe that ‘excitement and passion are contagious, especially in the form of self-expression and art’.
Coming to the UK for the band isn’t a standard tour experience, the band feel that ‘musical appreciation over here (in the UK) comes with an openness that is lacking in the US’, proving this a few of the band’s appearances ended up in more crowd interaction than your typical gig – with half the audience literally on stage with the band in what Disashi describes as a ‘glorified rock n’ roll, hip hop, disco dance party’.
With the band’s guitarist married into Irish and Scottish roots, the Glasgow tour date in particular is important for Disashi as it will give him the chance to explore his wife and her son’s heritage that the city has to offer.
Gym Class Heroes play the Arches in Glasgow on October 4th at 7pm.
Claire White, Entertainment Correspondent
The headline acts for the night are: Bond Jovi, Echo Arcadia, Havana Rising, The M8s, The Merrylees, The Resistors, the Stantons and Superhouse.
Half the money raised on the night will go towards helping Save the Children set up FAST (Families and Schools Together) groups across the UK, which aim to break the link between poverty and low levels of education, encouraging parents to play an active role in supporting their child’s education.
The rest of the money raised will go towards the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
The event takes place from 5.30-10pm and at just £6 a ticket, it’s definitively worth a look at. Tickets are available now from Ticket Scotland and Ripping Records, online at http://www.tickets-scotland.com and by phoning 0131 225 2564.
Friday 7th October Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh 5.30-10pm
Claire White, Entertainment Correspondent
Tomorrow the Bedlam Theatre hosts a fun-filled fundraiser party at the Jazz Bar on Chamber Street.
The Bedlam Theatre is entirely run by students and is the oldest student-run theatre in Britain. Situated at the foot of George IV Bridge staging over 40 shows a year the 90-seat theatre has also earned it’s place as a venue in many festivals including the infamous Edinburgh Fringe.
Thursday’s event will feature live music, DJs and prize draws and is set to raise money for the Bedlam Theatre’s Show Fund.
Music will come from KAIHO, Forget-Me-Nots, David Elams, EUSOG’S ‘Fidder on the Roof’ cast and The Foo-Birds.
Why not come along and help raise money for the cause, tickets are just £4 and available at the Jazz Bar on Chamber Street from 8pm.
Lori Cormack, Entertainment Editor
Whether you want to laugh until your stomach hurts, or dance until your feet fall off, there’s plenty on offer this week around the capital to keep you occupied.
First up, it’s the Best of Scottish Comedy. This monthly showcase of the best Scotland has to offer takes place at The Stand Comedy Club on York Place tonight. Performers include Jay Lafferty and Raymond Mearns. It’s usually packed, so get yourself down there early to secure seats (although maybe not in the front row, we all know where that leads). Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8.30pm show, tickets are £6 full price, and a fiver if you’re a student.
How about making a song and dance of it? Any Eastenders fans will recognise Eddie Moon, real name and one time heart-throb for all of our mums, David Essex in this show. His touring musical, All the Fun of the Fair occupies The Edinburgh Playhouse from next Tuesday. Described as a drama-dey by one critic, we see fun fair owner Levi Lee juggling an ex wife, new lover and rebel son, all to his own well-loved hits. See it between 4 – 8 October, prices start at £20.50 full price and £17.50 concessions.
A change of culture could be just what you need, and the MacDonald Roxburghe Hotel has the perfect solution. This Sunday, Bollywood comes to the capital, in An Evening of Bollywood Magic. As well as a three course meal, guests will be treated to dance demonstrations, magic from Ravi Mayar and music from DJ Taz. There will also be a raffle and charity auction, where you could bid for a pair of Amir Khan boxing gloves. The night kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets cost £30.
If it’s an educational experience that you’re after, why not head for The Filmhouse this coming Monday. There will be a showing of Krakatoa: The Last Days, a docu-drama based on survival stories from residents living below Krakatoa at the time of it’s eruption. The showing will be introduced by Doctor Stuart Monro, and there will be a discussion afterwards. On at the Filmhouse, on Lothian Road, 3 October at 5.45pm. Tickets priced at £7.50, or £5.50 for students.
And lastly, you’ll want to listen up for this one because it’s…wait for it… FREE. This weekend will see the return of the Morningside Makers Market. The new-for-this-year monthly market has everything you could want to fill your flat with gorgeous goodies, including jewellery, art, clothing, ceramics and confectionery. The 30+ stalls occupy the Columcille Centre, just off Morningside Road this Saturday (1st October) from 11am – 4pm.